The washing machine was invented in the second half of the 1860s, and has since become one of the most popular household items. Beko saw this popularity in 1955 and started their production, since then they are constantly growing. Today they are one of the top three brands of household appliances in Europe and serve more than 135 countries with more than 30,000 employees. Therefore, I have big expectations about this company, I should be able to find all the information that I am looking in their webpage. It is a big company and its investment in sustainability should be comparatively large.
Overall, I can already say that Beko is trying to make our life more sustainable, and healthier. However, it does not mean that they do not have minuses; I encourage everyone to check energy efficiency before buying a product. Being a good brand does not mean that all appliances they sell are energy efficient. For example, Beko has too many machines that have a level D efficiency. They definitely should put more money into R&D and start to produce the most efficient machines only
Unfortunately, there is almost no information about the name of the materials that have been used during production. I can understand that they have a big range of products, and it can be hard to give specific information about every product and what it’s made of. However, I would like to see at least a small section about the type and name of the materials in the explanation part of the product. The only information I found is that they are using recycled plastic bottles in their tubs, and aim to transform recycled plastic bottles into high-performance materials. 60 plastic bottles are used for each tub, and about 220,000 units were produced in 2020, which means that 13 million bottles were recycled. It is expected to reach 400,000 units in the coming years; 25 million bottles will be recycled annually. In addition to recycling a significant amount of plastic bottles, this procedure also reduces carbon dioxide emissions by almost 900 tons and saves over 20,000 gigajoules of electricity (the energy produced by 3,500 barrels of crude oil). They also mentioned they have factories that recycle old household appliances but sadly there is no information on where those recycled materials are used exactly. Overall, it would be nice to see what these machines are really made of in terms of material. If they disclose how many bottles are used per machine, there should be no reason they cannot mention the rest of the materials. Unless the reason is rest of the materials they use are bad for the environment.
Beko established the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) recycling plants in Turkey in 2014 to reuse products as resources or return them to nature. Since then they recycled approximately 1.6 million WEEE units in their recycling plants. Also, they saved 397 GWh of energy between 2014 and 2021 by replacing old, high energy-consuming products with new, energy-efficient products. This quantity equals the annual energy production of 64 wind turbines with a capacity of 2.5 MW each. In addition, by recycling waste products, they have prevented about 195,000 tons of CO2 emissions. This plant is also the first recycling plant in Turkey with the capacity to collect CFC (chlorofluorocarbon) gases that are ozone-depleting or have a global warming potential (GWP) above 15, found in old refrigerators, through a closed system. Also, I can say that they care about the quality of wastewater. For example, outside their cooking appliances factory in Bolu, Turkey, they have a pool with 700 koi carp thriving in the water previously used in the production process, this shows that the effluent water quality is good enough. However, unfortunately even though in some other parts of the website, it is possible to see they are using 95% green energy, there is no specific information about this recycling plant. Therefore, I am a bit skeptical about the energy source of these factories. Just because they say they are using 95% green energy to become more sustainable, doesn't mean it is valid for every factory. In addition, during the transportation of goods, they are mainly using water and railways. Their latest report shows that their railway shipment increased by around 4.2% last year. These are nice due to preventing GHG specifically caused by car & plane transportation. For the packaging, they are using 100% recycled cardboard packaging, so they are saving 502,135 trees annually.
To be honest, I was really impressed to find all this detailed information. If one day I have a company I will also have such extensive sustainability information and data available on the website. My only concern is that all this information is based on Beko itself. Therefore, I hope they are not greenwashing or exaggerating anything.
I can easily say that Beko cares about sustainability. They aim to turn to 100% green energy, 70% water recovery, 99% waste recycling, and invest 50 million USD in energy efficiency by 2030. My only wish is that hopefully, they will achieve their targets because too many companies set such targets and are not even close. I believe that Beko has the capacity to achieve these goals. However, they should not wait for the government to check for these, and keep working on it. Besides these, it is possible to see they care sustainability from their products as well. For example, they are producing egg shell-based plastic and using them for their fridges, using fishing nets for ovens, using plastic bottles for washing machines, and using coffee ground waste to produce coffee machines. The only problem is that these applications are not valid for every product, so they should do these applications for every product as soon as possible.
They are also trying to support charities. They have a healthier lifestyles educational outreach programme in partnership with UNICEF, fights against childhood obesity via school-based interventions. They reached 172,000 children directly and trained 72,500 teachers about the importance of nutritious and safe diets. In addition, they developed the first solar-powered fridge for the WHO to store medicines in African villages with no electricity. They are also working with Barnardo's to help disadvantaged children and families in communities in the UK. The strange part is that since 2014 they have only donated over £200,000 and provided over 800 appliances to families. Of course, this is nice, but these numbers are basically nothing for multi-million dollar company. They should definitely increase their support.
On the company side, it is possible to see that they care about gender equality, and they are showing this with their gender pay gap report. When I look at the report I saw that there is an improvement compared to previous years but they definitely need to work harder to make the gap zero. Also, on the labor side, there are comments like payment is not good but also not bad. They should not neglect their worker's salaries.
Overall, I can say that they are trying to be an example company about sustainability. Their transparency impressed me. If they reach their targets and make some improvements, they can be definitely an example company.